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A green agenda for Serbia worth 8 million euros

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the European Union Ambassador to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret presented a new initiative worth 8 million euros, to encourage the green transformation of the economy and society.

Ambassador Giaufret noted that Serbia adopted the Green Agenda Declaration in October 2020 at the Conference in Sofia and has committed to implement its actions through the Regional Action Plan adopted in Brdo, in October 2021. The Project EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia – Get Started, Take Action, Scale Up will support Serbia to implement the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.

“This new project comes timely, a few weeks after EU Member States confirmed the opening of the EU negotiation cluster which among other topics deals with energy issues and the protection of the environment,” he said. “This brings us a good drive to scale up actions on all fronts and to do our best to establish the implementation of EU environmental legislation in Serbia.”

This new 2-year EU and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s initiative is being implemented in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“We will help Serbia improve strategies and policies, take concrete actions and increase investments for green transformation, especially in the areas of decarbonisation (reduction of dependence on fossil fuels), reduction of air-, water- and land pollution, circular economy, agriculture and food production, as well as biodiversity protection,” added Ambassador Giaufret.

Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative explained that during this project at least 23 most innovative and impactful green investments will be supported.

Source: EU in Serbia.

“To kick-start the green transition in Serbia we all need to engage, not just the national and local authorities, but also public and private companies, banks, civil society organisations, scientific and research institutions and citizens alike,” Mrs Pickup said. “UNDP will publish 8 Calls for innovative solutions in all the areas covered by the Green Agenda. We are inviting all who wish to contribute to a positive change and help Serbia to become more competitive, have a cleaner and healthier environment for present and future generations – to apply to our Calls, which will start as early as the end of February.”

The new initiative will help Serbia to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and support the alignment of Serbia’s regulatory framework with the EU acquis in all the five areas of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.

Head of EIB’s Regional Representation for Balkans Alessandro Bragonzi underlined that sustainable development and ambitious climate targets can only be achieved through combined financial and technical expertise support.

“This project symbolises a new type of partnership, essential for making the economic and green transition possible,” he commented. “[…] We are glad that our support will be mostly provided to small and medium companies, which are a key driver of development and innovation. Their green transformation, along with larger-scale investments in renewable sources and energy efficiency, can pave the way to green and inclusive growth.”

The Project aims to improve strategies and regulation in the field of energy efficiency, renewable energy, integrated permits and GHG emission trading through, among others, the development of energy efficiency plans for public buildings. It also aims to facilitate the transition to a circular economy through the development of 5 local waste management plans and the identification of the sludge and bio-waste management solutions for 2 municipalities. Air quality is going to be another priority through the training of local self-governments for the development of air quality plans and the implementation of air protection measures. Finally, the Project’s goal is to protect and invest in biodiversity and ecosystems, supporting nature-based solutions and to improve the legislative framework for sustainable food production.

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